Plant Biology 2014 Special Minisymposium: Bioinformatic Resources for Plant Biology Research

I was eagerly waiting to write a post on this topic. This workshop attracted a lot of conference attendees, since current day plant biology research cannot move forward without these resources. Unfortunately it was kind of an effort to pack too many eggs in one basket within a limited time which could not meet expectations … Read more

#plantbiology14 Wrap Up

I didn’t get much of a chance to sit down and write a post for the last two days of the conference. The schedule called for a party at the end of day 4 and a half-day day 5 that I’ll talk about here as well as my own take-aways from the conference.  Day 4 … Read more

The “Flipped” Classroom Teaching Strategy

A key benefit of being a member of ASPB, at least for me, is that we have access to several activities to enhance career skills. One of my favorites is the Education Committee workshop. I’ve had the privilege to attend several by now. As a result, my teaching tools box has improved a lot and … Read more

PUI, RUI, phooey…

PUI=a category within academia, RUI=a category of NSF grants, phooey=what we say when realizing a session already started. The Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI) Networking Event had a great turnout and fruitful discussion Saturday morning. This event is the opportunity for faculty from institutions that award no (or few) PhDs in the sciences to connect and share ideas for maintaining … Read more

The Mentoring Relationship—A Two-Way Street

The Minority Affairs Committee luncheon began with an informal lunchtime discussion between faculty and students. As suggested by attendees of a previous year’s luncheon, the setup involved assigning several faculty to each table and allowing students and post-docs to fill the remaining seats. The room was abuzz with discussion for the first portion of the … Read more

10 Tips for Grad Students to Make the Most of a Scientific Conference

Conferences are a great place to get feedback on your research from leaders in your field as well as other graduate students. They’re also great for networking and building a group of contacts that you can use for advice in the future.  David Shiffman (PhD candidate at the University of Miami), shares tips and tricks for students … Read more

What happens when “nature’s driving force” runs dry?

Leonardo da Vinci compared the movement of water in nature to the movement of blood in an animal, and concluded that, “Water is the driving force of all nature.” Five hundred years later we still can recognize the truth in this statement. However, with groundwater resources dwindling and rainfall patterns becoming irregular, could nature’s driving … Read more

Research-led teaching opportunities for early career researchers

Recently, I was invited to attend a workshop at the University of Exeter, organized by George Littlejohn*, Tom Howard and Lizzy Dridge, a post-doctoral Research Fellow in Professor Nick Talbot’s group, Independent Research Fellow and Associate Lecturer respectively. The aims of the workshop were to help Early-Career Researchers (ECRs: e.g., graduate students and post-docs) make best … Read more

Far more than pots on sticks: Uptake and transport of water by plants

  “Plant-Water Relations 1: Uptake and Transport”  is the latest article in Teaching Tools in Plant Biology, and first of the in-depth series on the topic of Plant Physiology. It was written by me (Mary Williams), Mel Oliver of the USDA-ARS and Steve Pallardy of the University of Missouri.   This topic is a cornerstone … Read more

Plant Science Decadal Vision Rolls out at AAAS

On December 3rd, 2013, the National Plant Science Council partnered with the American Chemical Society; the Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies; and the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) to co-host a briefing on the report Unleashing a Decade of Innovation in Plant Science: A Vision for 2015-2025. The briefing was also … Read more

Give your Students Roots: Help students begin their career journey

One of the most meaningful perks of my job as a faculty member in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley is the opportunity to mentor students – both undergrads and grads. My job also gives me the privilege to share with students my passion for doing plant science research, and to … Read more

How to Be a Hot Pick: Tips for Writing Abstracts

Communicating about your research to raise awareness and to get noticed is a critical skill. To be sure your abstract is a hot pick for talks, it’s important to use the right approach. Here are some tips and resources that can help your abstract get chosen. Consider Each Audience Reviewers will select your work for … Read more

Cultivating Safety

What do locks, alarms, TSA screenings, guard dogs, and plants have in common?  Each can deter danger.  Yes, you read that right. Plants can make stuff safer.  In fact, NOVA’s technology aficionado David Pogue explored cutting-edge examples of some leafy lifesavers in his PBS program, Making Stuff: Safer (airdate 11/6/13). So beyond thorns and prickly … Read more

Career Opportunities for Plant Scientists

Call me a nerd, if you wish; but the Career Tree, which I first saw in a report published over a decade ago by the European Science Foundation and the Human Frontiers Science Program, is one of my favorite images: The Career Tree depicts a plant, so it appeals to my innate pro-plant bias. (And … Read more

Plant Biology 2013 Video: Facing the Challenges of the Future

Plant Biology 2013 President’s Symposium – Plant Biology’s Diversity Molds Our Future – Part 1 Organizer: Peggy Lemaux, University of California, Berkeley, CA Speakers: Cary Fowler, Genebanks: Past, Present, and Possibly Future Phil Pardey, The Shifting Structure of Food and Agricultural R&D Worldwide Jonathan Lynch, Roots of the Second Green Revolution James Dale (recording not being released), … Read more